Bentz Wolf Bill Passed by House
SALEM, Ore —The wolf management bill that Representative Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario) introduced for the 2012 Legislative Session on behalf of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association passed out of the House on a 42 to 15 vote Friday, February 17th.
House Bill 4158 clarifies the 2005 Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan (Wolf Plan) that was adopted by the Oregon Fish & Wildlife Commission. The Wolf Plan was based on the best available science aimed at wolf conservation with the goal of developing healthy wolf populations, but it too stated that conservation science recommends against maintaining wolf packs that depredate livestock.
The Oregon Court of Appeals recently pointed out that the Wolf Plan may not have provided the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) with the authority to remove problem wolves. HB 4158 would clarify the Wolf Plan and restore authority for wolf control to the ODFW.
HB 4158 had a public hearing in the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.
Curt Melcher, Director of the ODFW, stated that, “The Department of Fish and Wildlife is officially neutral on the bill. The Department has reviewed the current version passed by the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, which includes the -6 amendments. This bill, as amended, does not modify or circumvent any aspects of the Commission-adopted Wolf Conservation and Management Plan. This bill simply clarifies the Commission and the Department’s authority to implement the plan.”
Representative Bentz said “This bill helps keep small business (ranchers and farmers) somewhat safer from wolf depredation given the state’s decision to reintroduce the wolf. I am thankful that many of my Democratic colleagues joined me in support of this bill.”
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- Oregon Cattlemen’s Association Statement on HB 4158
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- Governor Kitzhaber Signs Oregon Wolf Compensation Bill
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